A rare occurrence happened for the Cariboo Cougars on the weekend as the team dropped both its games with the Vancouver NE Chiefs.
The Cougars don't often lose back-to-back games, let along suffer three-game losing streaks but the B.C. Major Midget League team is in the midst of both after falling 5-1 to the Chiefs on Sunday at Planet Ice in Coquitlam. Saturday the Chiefs doubled up the Cougars 4-2. With the losses the Cougars now have a 3-3 record, while the Chiefs improve to 5-1-2 this season.
Bryan MacLean, the Cougars first-year head coach, said both games were fairly even in terms of play, except the Chiefs capitalized on their opportunities when the Cougars made errors.
Our consistency in play just isnt there yet, said MacLean. I think for parts of both games we were the better team, creating opportunities to score and getting chances, but we didnt have consistent play for 60 minutes and it cost us.
The Cougars offence was slow in showing up to both games as the Chiefs held a 4-0 lead after two periods Saturday and led 2-0 after 20 minutes in the back half of the doubleheader.
Chase Dubois pulled the Cougars within a goal Sunday with a second-period marker, but they were unable to get the equalizer in the third period before Lucas Santucci put the Chiefs up 3-1 with his second goal of the game. Matthew Davis, into an empty net, and Lucien Serban added late goals for the Chiefs. Ziyan Karim also scored for Vancouver.
When we broke down they capitalized and when we had opportunities to score we werent putting pucks in the net, said MacLean.
The Cougars were without forward Riley Pettitt and defenceman Jared Stevens on the weekend. Pettitt was home in Whitehorse at his brothers wedding, while Stevens is nursing a wrist injury. Cariboo had five defencemen and 10 forwards in the games with the Chiefs as forward Brogan OBrien hasnt been replaced since the BCHL Prince George Spruce Kings scooped him up two weeks ago.
Saturday, the Cougars received third-period goals from Dubois and Greg Dakus, but they couldn't complete the comeback. Jordan Henderson, Caleb Fantillo, Serban and Karim had the goals for the Chiefs.
MacLean credited second-year Cariboo goalie Jeremy Matte with playing two solid games and giving his teammates the chance to win late in the games.
When we broke down at different points he made a lot of saves for us, said MacLean. Its nice to see him have consistent play through two games. He wants to see Ws on the board, but hes given us the play to do it, so we just have to give him some run support.
Cariboo will try to snap the losing skid on the weekend when the Valley West Hawks (6-2) visit Prince George for a doubleheader. Game 1 between the Cougars and Hawks is Saturday, 4:15 p.m. with the second game Sunday at 10 a.m. Both games are at CN Centre.
Were going to find some success, said MacLean. Its just taking a little longer than wed like.